I think everyone should have somewhere they can go to feel like a kid again. For me, Cumnor Hurst is one such place.
This wooded hill on the outskirts of Oxfordshire isn’t too far from my parents’ house, and is perfect for an autumn adventure. It’s best known as the site of some famous dinosaur discoveries: Europe’s first fossilised Camptosaurus was discovered here, along with sea dwelling monsters like Plesiosaurs and Ichthyosaurs.
The Hurst has more to offer than ancient lizard remains though – nowadays, it’s home to a couple of amiable Dexter cows who wander freely to graze on brambles, and the top of the hill boasts spectacular views across the Oxfordshire countryside.
The two of us wandered up there last weekend to hunt for conkers, but found something even better – turns out it’s the perfect time of year to pick blackberries, and we weren’t about to let the opportunity go to waste.
So many berries!
Amy did most of the harvesting…
…but her enthusiasm led to a few thorny situations.
Blackberries are full of nutrients, and can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. Oh snap.
Fields and trees as far as the eye can see.
Dexter cows have short legs, so enjoy snacking on low-lying vegetation. This guy didn’t mind us taking a few berries.
For us city dwellers, this stroll through the countryside was a welcome break. The blackberries tasted ten times better in the knowledge that we found and foraged them ourselves. I highly recommend making the most of the season’s new arrivals and finding a local patch to pick your own. If this post hasn’t persuaded you, hopefully our upcoming recipe for wild fruit crumble will!